Events

International Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Conservation Forum

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
From: 24.08.2017 to: 25.08.2017

Abdylkalik Rustamov, the Director of Kyrgyzstan’s State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry, announced on 5 June, World Environment Day, that his government will host the 2017 Global Snow Leopard Forum on 24-25 August in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. “The snow leopard needs our help right now! If we do not take drastic steps, we might permanently lose this priceless gift of nature – as we have already lost forever thousands of other rare and amazing species,” said Rustamov.

The Global Snow Leopard Forum will bring together heads and representatives of the Governments of the twelve snow leopard range countries, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as of other interested nations with leaders from international institutions, donor agencies, conservation organizations and scientific institutions.

This high-level event aims to further strengthen the range countries’ ongoing efforts to protect the snow leopard and to galvanize international support for their plan of securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by the year 2020. It will bolster high-level political will and encourage green investments to implement conservation plans and facilitate green growth models in mountain landscapes.

A key expected outcome of the Forum is a strong commitment for financial and technical resources from all snow leopard range countries, international financial institutions, corporations and other organizations towards the conservation and sustainable development of snow leopard landscapes in Asia.

The snow leopard is globally endangered. Exact numbers are unknown, but estimates say that there may only be between 3 900 and 6 500 left in the wild. The snow leopard is an integral part of the cultural history of Asia’s mountain peoples and of the national identity of Kyrgyzstan. It stands for strength, stealth and liberty and is revered in all regions where it is found.

More than just a beautiful, endangered animal, the snow leopard is an icon and an indicator of the health of Asia’s mountain ecosystems. Mountains globally supply between 60-80 percent of the world’s freshwater resources, and provide numerous other ecosystem services that have high economic and cultural value.

The 2017 Global Snow Leopard Forum will be a milestone in the global effort to save the snow leopard. For more information, contact Koustubh Sharma, International Coordinator of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme, at koustubh@snowleopard.org.

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Photo: Snow Leopard Trust/Shan Shui

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